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Question: Mike, I am an apprentice electrician and I was told that the 1999 NEC requires wall-mounted receptacles for commercial buildings to be mounted so that the bottom of the cover plate is no less than 15 inches from the floor. Is this True?

Mike Answer: No. There is no NEC requirement on the height of wall-mounted receptacles in residential, commercial, or industrial facilities, but...

American Disabilities Act Requirement

The Code of Federal Regulations 28 Part 36 (American Disabilities Act) in Section 4.27.3 states that electrical and communications system receptacles on walls shall be mounted no less than 15" above floor. However, the exception indicates that this does not apply to receptacles not intended for use by building occupants. The maximum height for receptacles and/or switches is between 48 and 54 inches, depending on the conditions, see Section 4.2.5 and 4.2.6 of the ADA.

From: Tracey Leach-Casey

Building Codes

The N.E.C may not have requirements for receptacle heights, but if the jurisdiction you are working in enforces CABO/ANSI A117.1 1992 for Accessibility, Section 4.25.3 (exception) states: Electrical and communication system receptacles on walls shall be mounted 15 inches above the floor unless the use of special equipment requires location at a different position. The ANSI standard is referenced in the 1997 U.B.C section 1101.3.

From: Gilbert Gonzales

Regarding the question on the 15" receptacle height: The Uniform Building Code 1106.3.3 on Accessibility for the handicapped uses 15" to 48" for operating control heights within Section 1106 dealing with lighting controls, electrical receptacles, environmental controls, security and intercom
systems. You would have to read UBC 1103 to see if your occupancy type applies, but it generally covers commercial structures.

From: Sarg76